Date of Submission
Film and Electronic Arts
Adventure Capitalism satirizes the misconceptions or prejudgements of the complex systems of economic and culture commerce between the United States and Mexico. What starts for our protagonist James Peterson as a simple attempt to get into the best business school in the country ends up showing him corruption of the interwoven institutions that make up the world he wanted to join, and pits his economic values against reality.
Two main views on international capitalism are presented within the screenplay. Juana champions the Neo-Marxist view that core nations use their vast capital to develop peripheral economies in a way that makes them dependent on technologies that can only be provided by the core states. James and other Americans of the film trumpet the all-inclusive ideal of free-market capitalism. Both opinions are partially right and partially wrong. In a global economy, self-sufficiency is neither necessary nor desirable, yet completely free trade is utter chaos––where cut-throat tactics are the only means for success.
The idea of free-trade celebrated by American politicians is hypocritically undermined by our government’s attempts to give our industries every possible advantage, as illustrated through Earthworld Planet Connections and the interdependent corporations and institutions it collaborates with. A with many of our major institutions, financial or otherwise, it is not a part of a sustainable, reciprocal system, but one strung together by the personal connections of the top executives, who, in lieu of true development and innovation, attempt to gain monopolizing positions or to contrive the rules of the system to make success a simple formulaic task. They are not adding value, but merely creating that illusion.
James and Juana’s search for a source of home grown wealth in a fictional impoverished town in southern Mexico inevitably leads them to the marijuana industry. The War on Drugs, which is often reported as a rare meeting ground of both nation’s interest, seems by all sensible measures to be in the interest of neither. It is a misappropriation of public funds which only serves to hurt and frighten the poor, disenfranchised segments of the participating societies for the arrest of the occasional narcoterrorist kingpin. It ignores the economic underpinnings that have lead to the creation of this thriving black market: a lack of legitimate opportunities for a class of individuals in Mexico push them to work the drug trade while the demand for narcotics in the US is not curved by the threat of legal retribution. This is the same dynamic that causes illegal immigration: the Mexican workers are filling demands from the West. It is a straight-forward economic issue and yet when understood through the dogma of law, it becomes an even simpler issue of criminality. This clear oversimplification, when faced with the facts, is inherently farcical, and in Adventure Capitalism I hope to illuminate some of the deeply ingrained false presumptions by presenting them as the joke they truly are.
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Kimelman, Samuel E., "Adventure Capitalism" (2011). Senior Projects Spring 2011. 230.